tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current March 16, 2012 2:00am-3:00am PDT
save the 20 grand he needs to buy his own truck. 7 f1 is leading the charge against their republicans for their refuseal to renew the violence against women act? answer: jean shaheen of new hampshire. an important link between energy and national security and that's what i will be discussing with the former director of the cents tral intelligence agency james woolsey. and we are going to find out what stories are trending in washington with buzz speed's ben smith. this is the war room. come on inside!
>> women's rights gas prices. we will be all over them. why? why? because these are the issues that are emotional and they stir up the electorate. we will talk with guests that bring sanity to all of this crazy talk. let's begin with women's rights. i cannot believe that i still have to talk about this stuff. in pennsylvania there is yet another outrageous bill that law lawmakers are proposing: h.b 1077, the women's rights to know act. the women's right to know act. notice how the worst bills are these apple-pie sounding names. it is the oldest trick in the book. this bill would force a woman who is seeking an abortion to undergo an underltrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the fetus and then the doctor would have to position the monitor so that
the woman could view the image, making sure that her face is turned and then the doctor has to record in her medical file whether the womenan was looking at the monitor. please, here is what pennsylvania governor tom corbett, who is a supporter of the bill said when asked about that last part. >> i am no -- make anybody watch? okay because you just have to close your eyes. but as long as it's on the exterior not there are. okay? >> just close your eyes honey. it won't hurt. really? governor corbett? the bill would lead to the same kind of state-ordered vaginal probes that cause an up procedureerror that forced village to back off. this this. this is out of some orwellian nightmare. shifting to gas prices, i am going to keep saying this until i am blue in the face: there is
not much the president of the united states can do to lower the price of gas. newt gingrich knows it but he just keeps making ab certifiedsurd comments. >> so when i campaign on 2.50 a gallon gasoline, this is actually an understatement. if oil if the price of gasoline were to drop as much as the price of natural gas has dropped in the last four years, it would be a dollar$1.13. >> newt, newt, newt, as the police department president said today, if you promise to lower gasoline to $2.50, why stop there? how about free ganzs? now, for the perspective on the politics of gas prices and the day's other stories, i am joined by ben smith, authwith the website that has its finger on the nation's pulse. ben, welcome inside the war room. glad to have you here.
>> thanks for having me on. >> you bet. you bet. let me just start with gas prices because that was obviously the topic of the day for the president and for newt gingrich. why don't you think that more people, other than the president, are calling out newt gingrich for constantly lying about his power to control gas price prices? >> well, i think people are pretty used politicians saying absurd things about gas prices. i think as you recall this time four years ago, hillary clinton and barack obama were arguing about who was going to lower gas prices? clinton was going to cut the gas tax mr. obama objected to. but mr. obama said when he was president in the mediuman term would be down because he couldn't control it either. >> the funny thing though -- i'm sorry to interrupt you. go ahead. >> no. it's like politicians are always trying to offer people what they want. but, no, the idea that gingrich
is going to wave a wand seems like a bit of a stretch. >> the funny thing to me, the politicians say i am going to work on bringing the price down. he is so specific about it. $2.50 or it might come down to $1.13. it's just so absurd. all right. now, let's go to something. >> makes you want to undercut him, i can do $1.12. >> right. free gas for let's go to some stories that are making certainly you guys take in thenotice that you guys have under covered on buzz feed. one of the things you unearthed today was a sound byte from rick santorum from 2010 where he was talking about thepresident obama and muslims. so a license. >> i think he may bow to more muslims. i think that's sort of the concern that every time he goes to these other countries, he starts some sort of controversy that hits his popularity. >> it's interesting to me that
it's still a conversation about bowing to a foreign leader and about muslims. is this issue ever going to go away? >> well, rick santorum has spent a lot of time kind of playing to the base. and, you know, a base that's suspicionus of muslims, hates obama but it's a little hard to figure out why muslims specifically? why was that the issue? i think that's something are trying to play on it tend not to say quite that directly. >> the bowing stuff, of course, is something that newt gingrich keeps raising over and over again. so it is the republican primary obviously in the next big contest is i will know and the polls are close enough that clearly romney is feeling a bidt nervous. the latest numbers are that he will out spend santorum by 8 to 1. and the question for you is: do you think that romney's actually running scared in illinois? >> i mean i think he has been running scared for a year and a half. they know they had very little
marchin for error and it's just still going on. i think they sort of had hoped at some point they could breathe and now santorum is kind of on his trail. i think, you know, you think of illinois as a moderate northern state. but when you get down to republican primariesy voters and the primaries aren't paying a ton of attention. it's a bit of a wild card. the romniqueey people are nerves they expect to do well in the counties right around chicago, the suburbs that have kind of arkansas timeypeale archetypal spring swing voters. and they tend to elect mottd rats. >> that's another thing, governor blagovich. go ahead. >> did you see that coming, governor? >> blagovich? >> when you were serving together? >> well, you know let's -- i certainly didn't see that he would he was going to sell his -- try to sell off a senate seat for contributions. but, you know, sometimes it's
hard to see him through that puff of hair. okay. so on another issue that you guys have been talking about, where the gay rights groups and pushing a plank is something we have talked about on this show as well. what do you think the odds are that when push comes to shove when the -- you know, in north carolina that we will see a plank in the democratic platform that pushes for gay marriage? >> i think it's reasonably likely. you know you know, there are not a lot of democratic activists and the kind of people who actually in the mechanics of democratic national committee who oppose gay marriage. i mean there are some and the president in some complicated and vague way is still claiming that he is among the opponents, that he is about the least animated oppose of same-sex marriage ever. it puts him in a slightly difficult position because this is one of these issues where he accuses mitt romney of flip-flopping. this is where whereone where he was in favor of sectioname certainlyingsection
marriage when it was cutting-edge and backed away from what you have to assume are purely political reasons like everyone running in the late '90s. obviously, he said he is evolving. he is trying to claw his way to that position. you have to imagine in a second they remember he would term he would get there. >> i think you are right. it's a tough thing. there are a lot of people like me and governor greg moire and i don't know where governor o'malley is who have on this and i think the same way the population has evolved and i am sure the president will evolve as well. it's just a question of whether he is in an awkward position vis-a-vis the plank. let me ask you one more question you guys were buzzing about today, which is that orrin hatch is facing potentially, tonight, a primary -- an unusual kind of primary in utah where he might have a coke brothers -- a
kokh brother opponent that takes him out. a lot of people thought the tea party had lost some steam and, if, in fact, this happens, i wonder if it would signal otherwise. your opinion. >> you know, i think that's a great question. i mean i think, you know, there is -- i mean, the notion that mitt romney is going to be the nominee does seem to signal kind of kind of there is a counter revolution going on, that the mod rats are coming back. mod romney moved to the right but he is nobody's idea of sort of, you know a wearing tea party favorite. you know, the place, the most committed conservative activists can matter the most in the sort of most -- in the smallest primary primaries, in the places where real committeement matters and one of the tea party impulses is throw the bums out. you have a long time incumbent also seen as maybe a bit of a squish on the issues. you see that kind of revolt against entrenched long-time incumbents pop up anyway from
time to time and i think the tea party is feeding it. >> orrin hatch voted for s chip for the childt child and that's one of the reasons the tea party wants him out. he is a socialist because he wants children to have health care. i really appreciate you joining us, ben. i hope you will come back. >> that's ben smith, editor in and chief of buzzfeed. coming up energy independence and national security. not only is there a link but it is a crucial cia director james woolsey will give us his perspective. and then new hampshire senator jean shaheen will join us from the capitol building where she is sending off another -- pending off another task on women's rights and out to the campaign front where allownyhow illinois is on-deck circle. this is the war room.
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but once i take advil, i'm able to finish out strong. it really works! [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] make the switch. take action. take advil. lowered wages for union and non-union workers too. i wonder why they do that. i wonder if it has to do with campaign donations from incredibly rich people. >> thank you so much for joining >> and 5e6r789 prices start to go up especially in an election year politicians dust off their 3-point plans for $2 gasevery time prices start to go up, especially in an election year, politicians dust off their 3-point plans for $2 gas gas. i guess this year, they decided we are going to make it 2.50. i don't know where -- you know why not 240?not 2.40? why not 2.10?
>> i had to play that. that was the president going on the offense today mocking the republicans' promises of cheap gas. he also fired back at his drill bi bayby drill bay pointing out his he has opened up millions of statements states, to what mitt romney ignored atacam pain stop in missouri to you. >> the american people know he was the wellingone who has been holding up getting natural gas out of the ground. they know what he has been doing. doing. he had to look long and heartard. he said because republican candidates because republican candidates are talking about being tough on iran for pursuing nicholling weapons, that'suclear weapons, that's caused gas prices to go up. connect those dots. >> i am wondering if it was romney who could use help connecting dots. joining me from washington to talk about energy policy and the
best way forward is former cia director and a venture partner at luck's capital. he is also a clean energy advocate, james woolsey. thank you so much for your time tonight, director woolsey. glad to have you inside the war room. >> good to be with you, governor. >> great. thegon g.o.p. candidates have been blaming the president for high gas prices. you served administrations of both parties. you are seen as an independent think thinker. is it fair to blame the president for high gas prices] partially but probably not right now. it's more what we haven't done for the last three years. and to be fair to the president, no one at a national level yet is add vovocating this, what i am going to suggest, although it is embodied in bills that have been introduced with bi-partisan support of both houses of congress congress. if we really want $2.50
gasoline, we have to be as smart as the brazilians. we have to let people have a choice at the pump between driving on patroletroleum-based gasoline and something else. they have a double growing season for sugar cainne and ideal conditions for producing ethanol. and so brazil, you drive into a filling station and you choose. if oil is up and gasoline is up and ethanol is much lower priced, given the different energy densityies of the two it's easy to calculate the comparison, you by ethanol. if there has been a bad growing season and ethanol is really expensive, you buy gasoline. we have to be as smart as the brazilian brazilians. if we are and use a system like that we could quite possibly get gasoline down in to the two to $3 range. but you can't do it. you can't do anything overnight. but it would take several years to implement a program like
this. but i think it could be done. for us it's probably not so much ethanol that we would need to have although there is no reason not to have it as a part of a choice. but it's methanol wood col made from natural gas and natural gas is so cheap right now it makes it possible to make methanol out of it, big new mit report makes this very clear, and to drive about 40% more cheaply per mile on methanol today than you can gasoline. >> let me ask you a question about that. methanol, would you need to have new infrastructure to have methanol as opposed to liquefied natural gas? >> you need a new pump at each filling station and a tape underneath it very much like when we had led and unleaded or we had we add a grade of gasoline or you add e-85 ethanol-85. so it takes a new pump. >> that's about it. for several recent articles that have made it very clear that for
cars produced within the last five years, the difference between there being able to run only on gasoline there arebeing fuel open standard so they can drive on ethanol or methanol is basically that you have to reprogram the software in the car's computer a little bit and you need -- hold on to your hat -- a $0.41 o ring to go on the fuel. >> that's it. >> so you could re -- you know ret proceed fit your car to be able to accept this fuel. the question would be, then, as a nation, whether we are committed to having the infrastructure in place. are there estimates for how much that would cost to be able to install those pumps in gas stations all across? plus i would assume you would need new pipes, too. >> well it's a few thousand dollars probably per pump. >> that's -- but what would have to get started is a methanol business. but we've made methanol for a
long time. we made it out of wood for centuries, human beings have but we have made it in the united states out of natural gals and it's a pretty simple process and a pretty modest. plant that you would need to -- but there is a chemical mrafshts, not free. the point is the marketmarkets, not free. the point is the market once the cars could use methods nol. we are not addicted to methanol but our cars are. detroit has decided it's only going to let us -- >> you know that some are electric now which i am all about. i think you have got a volt in your house homeland as well. i am all about -- in your household as well. clearly that's one other alternates tentive? >> yeah. >> that doesn't require that knew infrastructure expensive bat batteries. >> it does. hopefully those come down once the market accepts. so but oil prices dropped today. and they dropped to blow $106 a barrel the but recently they have been over $108 a barrel. what does it mean for our natural security? natural gas is one option. some sort of ethanol,
electricity is an option but the reality is we are stuck on oil right now. talk about the national security issue for the u.s. ? >> well it's a terrible situation. we borrow about a billion dollars a day to important oil. say 300 billion a year. there are 300 million americans. so that's like our paying a tax of a thousand dollars per american and we don't pay it to our own government where they might use it for something useful. we pay it to saudi arabia and iran and the other oil exporters in the world. so that's the first thing. the second is that the oil infrastructure in the middle east is potentially verulnerable to terrorists and to oil cut-offs. the largest facility in the world was attacked back in 2006 by al-qaeda al-qaeda. home happily they were not able to
take out sulfur clearing towers which would have takecertain 6 or 7 million barrels offline and any morning any of isus wakes up and it hasn't been blown up or some other part of the oil infrastructure in the middle east is a good day. then you need high-octane, something to be added to gasoline to increase the octane so the car doesn't knock. and we did that with led for years -- with lead for years but we decided it was too cancer-causing so we got rid of it back in the '70s. the refining companies have added other toxic substances in. that sweet smell that you smell when you pump your gasoline is benzeen or toulene. this other those are about a quarter of your gasoline tank them cause cancer. >> we have a national security problem, a cancer problem, and the amount of money that we send all of this wraps into the
point that we need to be more independent. but is the -- just a quick -- i've got to jump after this question, but a quick response to: is the drill, baby drill domestically the answer for us to be independent? >> the drill that matters is drilling for gas. drilling for oil helps with our balance of payments. it's not worthless. but if we really do a great job, instead of borrowing a billion dollars a day, maybe only $900 million a day. whoopty-doo. drilling for gas, natural gas, something that is much chiefeaper than oil to drive on or products made from it like methanol now are much cheaper. that could have a big impact. >> director woolsey, it sounds like you are in the camp of more of a broad-based strategy more of an all of the above strategy to get us independent. we appreciate you coming into the war room to explain e experience
specially from your perspective and knowledge, james woolsey, the former director of the sentence tral intelligence agency. up next, any time that a bill comes up that provides protection to women and gays and lesbians and immigrants, you know republicans are going to have something to say about it. senator jean shaheen will tell us why the g.o.p. is barking up the wrong tree. later we will get you caught up on the campaign front where it's looking from here looks like another nail-biter this time, of course, in illinois. you are in the war [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill and track work in real time.